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Research in Artificial Intelligence: my career choice


Cogito, ergo sum wrote Ren Descartes in his book Discourse on Method in the seventeenth century. At the time when he wrote the above adage, Descartes would have sco ed at the idea o machines that were ca!able o thinking and making intelligent and rational decisions. "he human brain is regarded to be more ca!able o higher order activities such as thought, reasoning and abstraction, and we are considered to be more intelligent than all other known s!ecies. "he idea o thinking machines and machine consciousness does not it well with our notions about ourselves. "he ongoing debate amongst A# !hiloso!hers regarding strong A# vs. the weak A# is a clear indication o this act. $ho would have thought that a ew a%ioms laid down in the &'()*s and +)*s in the ield o Arti icial #ntelligence, could have such a !ro ound im!act on our lives, today. ,ow can # not choose to do research in this e%citing ield, or my uture career -

My ondest childhood memories are those in which my ather, who ha!!ens to be working in the ield o A#, taught me how to !rogram Robots. #*d sit trans i%ed as my ather would e%!lain me these wonder ully com!le% conce!ts o A#. Countless .cience iction novels and movies later, it was time to go or an /ndergraduate degree in Com!uting .cience.

$as # ever more sur!rised 0 A ter taking s!eciali1ed courses on #ntelligent .ystems, Machine 2earning, etc. # ound out that the reality was vastly di erent rom the !ortrayal in those sci3 i novels. #t would take at least my li etime or the machines to be able to attain the kind o com!le%ity that was !ortrayed in those novels. ,owever # still loved what # learnt about A#. # am ascinated by this ield knowing we have made a gigantic lea! in our ability to solve decision making !roblems. Researchers are o the o!inion that in the uture A# will change the

: very way we think. "his !romises lots o o!!ortunities or young !eo!le to make a mark in this ield. Another ascinating as!ect o it is that one is not bound to work in only a ew selected ields in order to a!!ly the !rinci!les o A#. 4rom launching o .atellites to directing Air "ra ic, .!eech Recognition, 4acial Recognition, Military A!!lications, 5io3Medical #maging to machines o everyday use like Cars, $ashing Machines, re rigerators etc. A# has become all !ervasive in our lives, and is hel!ing us make more accurate !redictions and better decisions. .ince 6anuary *)+, #*ve been working on a !ro7ect that involves a!!lying Machine 2earning Algorithms to detect 5rain tumors and to !redict their growth !attern. 8ur !rototy!e a!!lication has !roved to be e%tremely success ul in detecting malignant tumors. #ts ca!ability to !redict tumor growth behaviors can never be matched by humans. #t*s use has allowed the !hysicians to treat more !atients at a reduced cost. "he !atients too bene it rom this technology. 9%tremely accurate results rom the !rogram regarding the location o the tumor allow the radiothera!ists to !recisely target the cancer cells with radiation, while s!aring the healthy tissues. Do # love all this- # have no doubt about that, whatsoever. #t gives me a great sense o satis action and !ride that # can contribute in some small way towards the cure o countless men, women and children who su er rom this dread ul disease.

$hat does the uture hold or A# - #n the last ew years researchers have success ully develo!ed Com!uter !rograms that are ca!able o writing more com!le% !rograms. "his has uelled the idea o humans being able to develo! Arti icially #ntelligent !rograms which will then be able to develo! more so!histicated and com!le% !rograms o their own kind. "his task is by no means easy, however i we were to achieve this eat we would !robably be the only s!ecies to success ully create a more #ntelligent s!ecies than themselves. $ill

< that not elevate our status to that o Demigods, at least in the eyes o those thinking machines Most o the ramework or A# was designed on the !attern o the workings o the human brain. #t turns out that we are now able to understand the human brain much better by looking at the techni;ues by which these Arti icially #ntelligent machines learn rom their environment and re!rogram themselves. #t is as e%citing as teaching a baby to learn new things. Do # need to !ut orth any more reasons or choosing to do research in A#, as my uture career -